Alexander Lees on the Lake District and the National Trust

‘[The Laked District is] desolate, and devoid of bird life. I think it is an environmental crime. We need to look at it as a wounded landscape. It has been changed over millennia by lots of different forces, and we are not letting it bounce back to the exciting wildlife-filled area it could be. Sheep moors or grouse-shooting estates are just like eucalyptus and cattle pastures.

‘They are analogous. There has been a huge amount of indoctrination over 100 years, convincing people that this is what landscape looks like.

‘But look at anywhere else in the world, this is a crime against nature. The National Trust has helped to rubber-stamp this vision as to how we should see the countryside.’

– Alexander Lees, Ecologist and Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University

Source: National Trust should be radical, says Hilary McGrady on BBC News

“Brexit means Brexit”

An old university friend of mine put the following on Facebook. I think it’s succinct and brilliant:

To be clear, without defining Brexit, the phrase, “Brexit means Brexit” means nothing.

– Jack Perschke

George Monbiot on Britain’s national parks

I love George Monbiot.

I mentioned in a recent post that I saw him speak about rewilding in Penrith a couple of weeks ago. In that talk he referenced a lecture that he gave to the UK National Parks conference. The gist of his lecture was that the UK’s national parks should be redesignated as ecological disaster zones.

Much of what I saw him speak about was included, in abbreviated form, in his lecture to the conference. Fortunately, that talk was recorded. And here it is.

Cover photo, Still Standing by Steve Calcott on Flickr, from Dartmoor National Park.

Sean Lock on Richard Branson

Last Friday I saw Sean Lock at the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal for a work-in-progress performance. One of my favourite lines of the night was this one about Richard Branson’s business practices:

What Richard Branson does is turn up, fire half the staff, put those left on short-term contracts, paint everything red and then fuck off in his balloon.